Happy New Year! A Look Back at 2014 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Happy New Year everybody! Once again Wing Commander fans worked hard all year long on a huge variety of creative endeavors, and there were also some great surprises along the way - just like in 2013. Going day-by-day through our news archives to highlight some of the bigger stories is always a very rewarding experience. Big things don't happen every day, but an astounding number of big things happen every year. We're anxious to see what's coming next, but let's rewind first and see some of the exciting events of 2014!

    Defiant Few Expands Story
  • The year began with a new chapter of Wing Commander: Defiant Few. The award winning audio drama follows a band of Confederation pilots as they struggle to push the Nephilim back from the Gemini Sector. In addition to new episodes of the regular story, they also put out a special April Fools edition.

  • New Life Breathed into Prophecy OEM
  • In January Prophecy OEM was upgraded to take advantage of advanced OpenGL graphics and other patches developed by fans. The OEM version was an extended demo of WCP with the missions and cinematics of the game's first disc. It doesn't have new missions like the official WCP demo does, but it's an intriguing artifact from the '90s that we're happy to include in our archives.
  • Fans Rally Around Wing Commander Music Kickstarter
  • Composer George Oldziey formally kicked off his mission to record an album of Wing Commander music with a live orchestra in February. Through the course of a typical Kickstarter and supplemental Fundrazr drive fans raised almost $50,000! This enabled a 100-piece orchestra and large choral contingent to perform George's masterpieces for the microphones this past fall in Bratislava.
  • Aaron Allston Passes Away
  • Wing Commander fans know happiness as well as sorrow. Renowned author Aaron Allston passed away in February. Many Wingnuts know him as the creator of Claw Marks, but he also worked on The Secret Missions and a 1995 pitch to create a Privateer television show with Chris Roberts. Learn more about his life here.
  • Wing Commander Officially Amazing
  • The WC series got numerous accolades in the latest publication of the Guiness Book of World Records. It was acknowledged for its pioneering work involving speech packs, multiplayer space combat, animatronic Kilrathi and live actor stars. Mark Hamill was even presented with a certificate!
  • Streaming Options Expand
  • 2013 was the Wing Commander Movie's year on Blu-ray, but 2014 saw even greater adoption of the film on streaming video services. HBO Go, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Flixter, Target Ticket, XBox Video, iTunes and even Netflix (in the UK) carry it now.
  • Alcohollywood Profiles Wing Commander
  • Alcohollywood created a fun new way to enjoy Wing Commander! They created a custom drinking game and special WC-themed drink in one of their weekly podcasts. Let us know if you try it!

  • Beat Hazard Mod Adds WC1 Ships
  • Shaggy spent a good part of 2014 adding the Confed and Kilrathi fighters from WC1 into Beat Hazard. The game is a top-down rhythm-based shooter, and the WC additions add a ton to the atmosphere!
  • Mythic Entertainment Closes
  • The home of Origin's legacy within EA was shut down in May. Mythic held the torch for nearly a decade after the famous Austin studio was shuttered. The CIC launched an archiving expedition there in 2008, and the people were wonderful. The closure of their studio was a very unfortunate loss, but sometimes ends can be new beginnings!
  • Wing Commander Games on Origin
  • Electronic Arts surprised gamers everywhere by adding the Wing Commander series to its Origin gaming service in June. That had long been the hope of fans when the platform was created several years ago. The games were already available digitally via Good Old Games, but the publicity and ease of access garnered from the EA storefront meant a ton of exposure for the series in front of a new generation of pilots.
  • Another Wingnut Wedding
  • WCNews editor ChrisReid was married in June, and the groom's party was made up entirely of fellow CIC staff members. The event was aerospace themed and held at Seattle's Museum of Flight.
  • Wing Commander in Concert
  • Wing Commander's famous orchestral music finally got its day in front of a huge audience at Austin's July 4 celebration this year! A medley of George Oldziey's WC compositions were performed by the Austin Symphony. Listen to a recording here.

  • Wing Commander at Graduation
  • The July 4 concert wasn't the only major venue where Wing Commander was played! It popped up again in a performance at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology Masters graduation at Stockholm City Hall.

  • Rapier Search & Rescue Locates Fighter
  • One of the long lost Rapiers used in the filming of the Wing Commander Movie resurfaced in July. It's been restored and now features prominently at the Bricket Wood paintball field's gaming scenarios north of London.
  • EA Puts WC3 On The House
  • Electronic Arts topped their Wing Commander releases this summer by giving WC3 away for free for several months. This brought the series massive publicity as EA continued to promote the giveaway across its social media platforms.
  • Ultima Forever's Kilrathi Island Revealed
  • Just before the game shut down, images of the Kilrathi easter egg in Ultima Forever surfaced. They feature a Kilrathi idol and what looks like a crashed Dralthi VII in the jungle. There was no known way to directly access the location, but at least we got a peek!
  • HCl Debuts Online Ship Viewer
  • The editing god himself put together a really neat online tool for checking out the ships featured in Armada, WC3 and WC4. It actually goes way beyond ships: asteroids, space stations and destroyed hulls are included as well. Go searching and then manipulate each object with your mouse!

  • Controversial Wing Commander Projects Sort Of Appear
  • A new Wing Commander movie listing briefly appeared at IMDB. Details that surfaced seemed pretty sketchy before the project was ultimately pulled from the site. Additionally, Piranha Games launched a new space sim project about a month later. As players decried the developers' shift in focus away from MechWarrior Online for the new game, it was also revealed that the company had at one point originally intended it be a Wing Commander title.
  • Wing Commander in Concert - Again!
  • George Oldziey's music got yet another chance to shine in September through a live performance of the Austin Civic Orchestra. Awesome!

  • Ice Buckets Abound
  • Summer 2014 will be forever remembered as that time when people dumped ice water on their head for charity or something. We posted videos from Richard Garriott's family and the official Roberts Space Industries entry with Ben "Bandit (LOAF)" Lesnick and Sandi Gardiner. We originally missed the Star Wars cast going under the ice, so here's your chance to see Mark Hamill now.
  • Prophecy Fan Movie Released
  • Movie-izations of Wing Commanders 3 and 4 have been around for a while, but Prophecy hasn't gotten quite as much attention - until now! This 2.5 hour presentation consolidates the highlights from both cutscenes and game flight into one package.

  • Citizen Con 2014
  • The CIC staff got together again at this year's Citizen Con in Los Angeles. Although the focus at the event was obviously Star Citizen, we also got to meet up with a bunch of awesome longtime readers of WCNews.com!
  • Klavs Releases Model Archive
  • After first creating a slick virtual 3D gallery online, Klavs posted a huge collection of models for fans to use. He's amassed a very comprehensive look at the fleets of Wing Commander all in one place here.
  • Flat Universe Playable
  • The Flat Universe mod provided a steady stream of updates throughout the year, which culminated in a highly anticipated playable alpha test. The team has a ways to go before the game is complete, but they are already incorporating pilot feedback to improve the experience the next time out.
  • Celebrating Anniversaries
  • A couple of products celebrated milestone birthdays this year. The Wing Commander Movie turned 15 in March. Director Chris Roberts actually gets the rights back in 2015, and even though he's busy now, we hope he'll revisit the franchise someday. Wing Commander 3 and Armada also both turned 20 this year. The Heart of the Tiger is often cited as many fans' favorite game in the series, and it's hard to believe two decades have passed.

  • Goodbye Larry Latham
  • The director of the Wing Commander Academy television show, Larry Latham, also passed on this year. He too went before his time, but fans were very appreciative of the help he lended to the community even very recently.

  • WC4 Artifact Preserved
  • When word went out that a set piece from the filming of WC4 was headed to the dump, Wing Commander fans leapt into action to save it! This hull section formed the bottom of the Dragon fighter during the scene where Pliers removes the flashpak. It current sits in the lobby of Cloud Imperium Games Austin to be appreciated by fellow space sim fans.
  • More Space Sims Released
  • The other big crowdfunded space sim, Elite Dangerous, recently reached full release. Reviews have been very positive! Slightly closer to home, Chris Roberts' Arena Commander simulator module achieved full playable version 1.0. Fans can join the CIC Organization over at RSI, which was also newly created in 2014.

  • Orchestral Preview Released
  • And just last week, the first thirty minutes of George Oldziey's live orchestra recordings were released for backers of the project! Additional digital reorchestrations, a behind-the-scenes doc and the final physical CD will all be coming next year.
  • And More!
  • And that doesn't even begin to get into Arraen's strategy mod that was announced at the beginning of the year, suspended due to the war in Ukraine and is now back in work. On the other side of the border, Ginger Tigra is making progress on the Russian translation of WC4. The creator of that huge starship collage came by the CIC to talk WC ships, and the Playstation TV launched with WC4 as a digital download. WC2 got an actual improvement patch, Kilrathi Saga WC1 got a compatibility patch, Standoff & Secret Ops got Mac upgrades and there was even a Doom mod! Whew.
So what does 2015 have in store? If recent history is any indication, there will be even more exciting surprises for sure! Thank you for tuning in to share them with us. When Wing Commander news breaks in the future, you know where to find it!

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